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Two years ago, a GOP-controlled Minnesota legislature—swept in with the 2010 wave—referred a state constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage to the voters. But as they say, elections have consequences, and on this issue, the consequences were particularly obvious. Not only was the Amendment defeated (earning 47.4 percent of the vote), but the DFL (Minnesota’s Democratic Party affiliate) also retook both chambers of the legislature. With an equality-supporting Mark Dayton in the governor's mansion, DFL legislators quickly introduced a marriage equality bill. The bill is moving forward, no less, with passage through committee appearing very likely in both chambers.

The State Senate, which has 67 members, now has a 39-28 DFL majority (a gain of nine seats from the previous session); 34 votes are needed to pass legislation. Each Senate district is also subdivided into two House districts, with "A" or "B" appended to the district number to distinguish the two. The House is, consequently, twice the size of the Senate at 134 members (meaning 68 votes are needed to pass legislation), and has a 73-61 DFL majority (a gain of 11 seats).

But, what happens after the bill reaches the floor of each house? Well, thanks to the results from Amendment 1, we can get a sense of how supportive each House district (HD) and Senate district (SD) is of marriage equality. Of course, opposition to a constitutional ban does not directly translate into support for marriage equality. Consider, for example, state Rep. Kim Norton (DFL-Rochester), who voted against referral (of Amendment 1 to the ballot) in 2011, but is currently on the record as wavering regarding support of marriage equality. Indeed, you'd expect a bit a drop-off between opposition to a constitutional ban on same-sex marriages and outright support for marriage equality.

That marginal difference, however, is where the fate of marriage equality in Minnesota hangs. In the House, Amendment 1 received less than 50 percent of the vote in 78 of 134 HDs (recall that undervotes counted as effective "No" votes), but less than 47 percent only in 62. Similarly in the Senate, Amendment 1 received less than 50 percent in 39 of 67 SDs, but less than 47 percent only in 31. Assuming that legislators followed the preferences of their district (more on this later), a 3 percent drop-off from opposition to a ban to outright support would mean that this bill would fail, but a 1.5 percent drop-off would mean that the bill would pass: Amendment 1 was below 48.5 percent in 35 of 67 SDs and 71 of 134 HDs.

Below are maps showing the HDs and SDs by the party of their legislator and whether "Yes" on Amendment 1 received more than 50 percent in the district. Red indicates a district with a Republican legislator; dark red if it voted "Yes" on Amendment 1 and pink if it voted "No." Blue indicates a district with a DFL legislator; dark blue if it voted "No" on Amendment 1 and light blue if it voted "Yes." The House is on the left; Senate on the right. On top are full statewide maps for each chamber; below those are more detailed maps of the Minneapolis-St. Paul area:

Map of MN House by party affiliation and Amendment 1 resultsMap of MN Senate by party affiliation and Amendment 1 results

Map of MN House by party affiliation and Amendment 1 results, Metro AreaMap of MN Senate by party affiliation and Amendment 1 results, Metro Area

Continue below the fold for more analysis.

Wed Apr 24, 2013 at 10:29 AM PT: I just realized that I hadn't uploaded the underlying spreadsheet, which is now available here.

The pattern here becomes very obvious, especially on the House maps: urban and suburban districts opposed Amendment 1, while rural districts supported it. The light pink "ring" surrounding the Twin Cities should be the Republican legislators that equality advocates have the greatest chance of getting, while the light blue outstate districts are the DFL legislators that may oppose the bill. (All five DFLers that voted for the referral of Amendment 1 represented rural outstate districts.)

There’s no guarantee, of course, that a legislator will follow the preferences of his or her district. Optimistically, for example, DFL Sen. Tony Lourey is a co-sponsor, despite representing an outstate district (SD-11) that gave "Yes" 57 percent of the vote. On the flipside, you have folks like Sen. Dan Hall (R-Burnsville), who opposes the bill and said that he would "personally go to jail" before performing a same-sex marriage ... even though his suburban district, SD-56, gave "Yes" only 45 percent.

Let’s consider one additional angle: adopting the cynical approach and assuming that legislators are motivated by self-preservation. The National Organization for Marriage has made clear its approach to Republicans who support marriage equality, and only 21 of the 47 Republicans who have supported marriage equality in the past are in office today. This statistic is skewed, however—many Republican legislators had already decided to leave office before supporting marriage equality. Indeed, while a few Republicans have lost in a primary, many others who subsequently lost did so at the hands of Democrats. (There's also the additional complication of redistricting.)

Consider, for example, the outcomes of the four New York state senators who voted in favor of marriage equality in 2011. While Roy McDonald did lose to a primary challenger on the basis of his support for marriage equality, Mark Grisanti won re-election (in a substantially more Republican district after redistricting). Without Grisanti, the statistic may very well be 20 of 47, as his old district gave Obama more than 70 percent of the vote in 2008. Meanwhile, Steve Saland lost to a Democrat, though the Republican vote was split because his right-wing primary challenger remained on the ballot on the Conservative Party's line. Finally, James Alesi opted to retire. Alesi’s decision may have been motivated by the prospect of a primary challenge, but there’s certainly no guarantee on whether he would have won or lost either way.

A similar consideration of the seven Republicans who supported civil unions in Illinois shows similar results: Four already knew they would not be returning for the next session (the vote was held during the lame duck session); one has since passed away; one, Dan Rutherford, is now state treasurer; and one, Skip Saviano, was defeated in 2012 by a Democrat after redistricting.

Indeed, whether or not an incumbent loses on the basis of her support for marriage equality is often is a function of the other political characteristics of her district. In addition to election results from Amendment 1, we can also consider the top of the ballot—how President Obama fared against Mitt Romney. In the maps below, we compare how Obama performed relative to Amendment 1 at the precinct level (blue indicates a better Obama/"No" performance and red indicates a better Romney/"Yes" performance; the presidential race is on the left and Amendment 1 on the right):

Map of MN precincts by Obama-Romney resultsMap of MN precincts by Amendment 1 results

Map of MN precincts by Obama-Romney results, Metro AreaMap of MN precincts by Amendment 1 results, Metro Area

Obama slightly outran "No" on Amendment 1 statewide, but the correlation between his performance and "No" is very high: 0.79 at the HD level, 0.80 at the SD level, and 0.70 at the precinct level. There are a few areas where the differences become fairly clear: Obama greatly outran "No" on Amendment 1 in most traditionally Democratic outstate areas, such as the Iron Range and Southeast Minnesota. Romney, in contrast, outperformed Amendment 1 in the second- and third-ring suburbs: on the Metro maps, the blue "ring" clearly extends out a town or two further out from the Twin Cities themselves.

At the end of the day, however, it’s the legislature that will decide the outcome of this marriage equality bill. We can condense much of the information above into charts that show, for each HD and SD, the party affiliation of its legislator, the margin in the Presidential race, and how it voted on Amendment 1 (House on the left; Senate on right):

Scatterplot of MN House districts by party, Obama-Romney results, and Amendment 1 resultsScatterplot of MN Senate districts by party, Obama-Romney results, and Amendment 1 results
Each chart can be broken into four quadrants: the unique combinations of whether each district voted for Obama or Romney, and whether it voted "Yes" or "No" on Amendment 1. DFL legislators primarily occupy the Obama/"No" (top-right) quadrant; it would be surprising if any of them didn’t support the bill. There are also a good chunk of DFL legislators who occupy Obama/"Yes" districts (bottom-right); the chances of getting their support should be fairly good—while their districts are opposed to same-sex marriage, their districts are also Democratic enough such that they won’t get booted solely for supporting marriage equality. Indeed, Sen. Lourey (mentioned above) falls into this quadrant, as do DFL Reps. Carly Melin and Jason Mesta, both co-sponsors of the marriage equality bill who represent districts that gave "Yes" on Amendment 1 about 53 percent of the vote, but also gave Obama more than 60 percent.

The last cohort of DFL legislators, however, occupies the bottom left quadrant—districts that voted for Romney and for Amendment 1 and are generally occupied by Republican legislators. The two DFLers that voted for referral of Amendment 1 who remain in the legislature fall here: Lyle Koenen’s SD-17 gave "Yes" 63 percent, while LeRoy Stumpf’s SD-01 gave "Yes" 66 percent. (The third DFLer, Denise Dittrich, inexplicably occupied a "No"-voting suburban district, the old HD-47A that largely became new HD-36A, which gave "Yes" less than 48 percent.) Chances are there’ll be a good number of these outstate DFLers (all Metro area DFL districts voted "No") who will defect and vote against the pending marriage equality legislation.

The counterparts to these DFLers, however, are much fewer in number: Republican legislators, in contrast, generally occupy Romney districts—the left two quadrants. Those in the bottom-left quadrant (Romney/"Yes" districts) are probably the least likely to support marriage equality. However, Sen. Brandon Petersen is co-sponsoring the bill even though his district, SD-35, gave "Yes" 52 percent of the vote. Perhaps even more encouragingly, Petersen, then state Rep. from the old HD-49B, had voted for referral of Amendment 1!

Those in the top-left quadrant, as well as the few in the top-right quadrant, are generally those from the suburban "ring" of districts that voted "No" on Amendment 1. They present the most interesting question, and also perhaps the best opportunities for crossover votes in support of marriage equality (Dan Hall notwithstanding). To the extent that we’ll see defections among outstate DFLers, it's these (generally) suburban Republicans who will need to come through to balance out the numbers and ensure passage.

So, where does this leave us? Clearly, Republicans who aren’t in office—such as former state Auditor Patricia Anderson and former Gov. Arne Carlson, have no problem supporting marriage equality. But as for the ones that are in office, let’s hope that they’re less like Dan Hall and more like Brandon Petersen.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Elections on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 10:29 AM PDT.

Also republished by Kossacks for Marriage Equality and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Very well-written analysis (10+ / 0-)

    I think that NOM's power is very weak here.  And when you say:

    Indeed, whether or not an incumbent loses on the basis of her support for marriage equality is often is a function of the other political characteristics of her district
    I think you really have it...this is really a case where correlation does not mean causation.  Many red districts are getting more conservative, and that's going to lead to a Tea Party replacement, regardless of their stand on gay rights.  

    Minority rights should never be subject to majority vote.

    by lostboyjim on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 10:37:16 AM PDT

    •  The amendment was a single issue (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MichaelNY, lostboyjim

      People were able to specifically vote their preference.  But all those pink districts that elect Republicans aren't likely to reject the Republican at the polls just because he votes against the repeal so the legislator doesn't have a strong reason to vote against his party.  For example, the western suburbs support marriage equality but they're more likely to choose their legislator on issues like taxes.  The repeal is most intensely popular in the areas which always elect Democrats anyway.  I'd worry about out state Democrats in the light blue areas.  They aren't likely to be thrown out of office based on how they vote on the repeal.

      •  Outstate dems shouldn't worry (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ER Doc, Midwest Meg, askew

        that voting for equality would hurt them with their constituents.  I believe that the people who would vote against the dem over this issue are already voting against the dem anyway.  

        Political compass: -8.75 / -4.72

        by Mark Mywurtz on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 04:10:17 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  In rural Minnesota they clearly aren't (0+ / 0-)

          Since they are holding office in seats where the voters were majority yes on 1 and yet still elected a Democrat in the state legislature.

          There are still a lot of moderate and conservative Democrats out there, especially in rural areas.

          •  that's not what he said though (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            MichaelNY, askew

            he said that the people who were yes on 1 and would vote against the Democrat for being pro-gay marriage are voting against the Democrat anyway. that statement may or may not be true, but you can't assume that everyone who voted Yes on 1 would vote against a pro-gay marriage legislator.

            Living in Kyoto-06 (Japan), voting in RI-01, went to college in IL-01.

            by sapelcovits on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 08:17:46 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Thanks--that's what I meant (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Christopher Walker

              I live in one of those districts that elected a democratic representative and senator, but voted "yes" on the amendment.  For these voters (there are a lot of older democrats fact, I think the democrats as a whole are older than the republicans), the economic platform of the DFL trumps the social issues.  So, as long as the democrats do the right things with the social safety net, taxation, infrastructure spending, etc, they'll be given more leeway than you think on social issues.  

              Anyone who is enough of a bigot to vote against their own economic interests because of a single gay marriage vote is already a republican anyway.  

              Political compass: -8.75 / -4.72

              by Mark Mywurtz on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 03:57:04 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  Nice analysis (5+ / 0-)

    One correction though. The freshman representative you mentioned is Jason Metsa, not Jason Mesta.

  •  So, in other words, good news! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bythesea, ER Doc, MichaelNY

    That's a great analysis, and it shows what I've always thought -- the Republicans who vote for this do so essentially without political calculation (we saw that in Washington state last year) -- that's the best news of all!

    -7.75, -8.10; . . . Seneca Falls, Selma and Stonewall (h/t cooper888)

    by Dave in Northridge on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 10:57:27 AM PDT

  •  Things look good legislatively... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eddie L

    On the other hand I have deep concerns as far as what happens after a bill gets passed. I am assuming of course that a law approving marriage equality would end up on the ballot. covered the story last week. The Star-Tribune found a majority in opposition to marriage equality (53-38%). It was noted, including by our own jpmassar, that the Star-Tribune's polling methods are less than stellar. However a PPP poll indicated support at the level of 47-45. I'd be worried about anything under 50% in our favor. As you know, if there is another ballot measure, the mud will once again get slung (liars will keep on repeating the same old lies). Even though I definitely see things moving in our direction strongly on a nationwide basis (with exceptions of course) the above sets of numbers don't give me a great feeling of confidence about the outcome. Certainly it will be a tough sell on the voters that, having defeated a constitutional ban on marriage equality they shouldn't go all the way, but it's still far less than a slam-dunk.

    •  No ballot initiatives in MN (9+ / 0-)

      If marriage equality is passed, there's no way to start a ballot initiative to overturn it in MN except by constitutional amendment. Only the legislature can refer constitutional amendments so there's no chance they would refer an amendment to repeal a law they just passed. The lack of an initiative process might actually work in our favor this time.

      22, Progressive Democrat, MN-08 (home), MN-05 (college)

      by JonathanMN on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 11:36:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  no ballot measure (8+ / 0-)

      The only time voters get a say is on a proposed constitutional amendment. If this passes as a simple law, there is no chance for a citizen's veto or anything.

      •  earliest plausible referendum.... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ER Doc, Midwest Meg, sfbob

        ... would be in 2018.

        Even if the House elected in 2014 wanted to repeal this bill if enacted, the bill would likely die in the Senate; the next regular election of the Minnesota Senate would be in 2016, and the first election thereafter that would conceivably have constitutional amendment on the subject would be 2018.

        In the interim, there are several bills that were filed that would propose a constitutional amendment to require a 3/5 or 2/3 majority in both houses of the Legislature to propose constitutional amendments.

        Notwithstanding what the Supreme Court decides in Hollingsworth v. Perry, In short, I don't see this ever returning to the ballot in Minnesota.

        The ballot box must NEVER be used as a tool of oppression.

        by vikingrob on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 03:46:10 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  In other words... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Rieux, ER Doc, MichaelNY

          good news. I'm happy to find that my worries were misplaced.

        •  Repeal (6+ / 0-)

          Once it's passed, a repeal would have the effect of removing a Constitutional right from a minority group. It's likely that the California case before SCOTUS will turn on this. In the eyes of the courts, state action to deprive someone of an existing right is far different than a refusal to recognize the right to begin with.

          •  Agreed. (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ER Doc, MichaelNY, sfbob

            This is why the possible outcome of Hollingsworth that's been called "California only" would (a) NOT actually be California only and (b) be a fairly positive thing.

            •  Hollingsworth could ideally create all sorts of (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              MichaelNY, Christopher Walker

              precedent. The "if you give gay and lesbian couples all of the rights and responsibilities of marriage and treat them the same as heterosexual couples for all legal purposes then there is no possible valid excuse for not allowing them to use the word marriage" argument could readily be used to force states such as Delaware, Rhode Island and Hawaii, which already do that to grant full marriage equality which is why the DOJ's brief in the case is often referred to as the "eight state strategy" (it could affect eight states including CA).

              In addition there is the "there may not be a Constitutional right to same-sex marriage but once that right has been granted you need a really compelling reason for taking that right away away" argument. This is one that seems to go right over the heads of many of the folks on the "wrong" side of Prop 8. What possible reason could there be for changing California's constitution to void marriage equality when the state supreme court has previously ruled that it's required. This outcome was likely on the minds of legislators in New Hampshire when they were contemplating repealing that state's marriage equality law and decided not  to bother. They'd likely have been taken to court and have lost there.

              I'm reasonably certain that the Supreme court will give a favorable ruling on Hollingsworth. I'm nearly as certain that they will attempt to craft the narrowest ruling they possibly can but there can be little doubt that the best they can hope to accomplish is to manage the speed at which marriage equality ultimately triumphs.

              •  Agreed. (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                sfbob, Smoh

                I'm right with you. This:

                In addition there is the "there may not be a Constitutional right to same-sex marriage but once that right has been granted you need a really compelling reason for taking that right away away" argument.
       what I was calling the "'California only' outcome." So-called because some folks (who aren't thinking very clearly) have declared that such a ruling would only matter for California, the only state in which a vested gay-marriage right has been taken away.

                To the contrary, it would matter enormously in a whole bunch of other states—Iowa most prominently, with all of the other marriage-equality states right behind.

  •  Excellent work, Jeff! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rieux, ER Doc, Midwest Meg
  •  I made some charts for this too! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    David Nir, CF of Aus, Skaje

    Never got around to writing them up.  Size is candidate margin of victory.  I think I wanted to add incumbency.

    27, Dem, Dude seeing a dude, CT-04(originally), PA-02/NY-10 (formerly PA-02/NY-12, then PA-02/NY-14). Also at

    by Xenocrypt on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 11:46:27 AM PDT

    •  I think candidate margin is important b/c (0+ / 0-)

      it suggests how much "room for error" a candidate has.  And how did Jeremy Miller do so well in Obama-voting Senate District 28?

      27, Dem, Dude seeing a dude, CT-04(originally), PA-02/NY-10 (formerly PA-02/NY-12, then PA-02/NY-14). Also at

      by Xenocrypt on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 11:53:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Senator Miller (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Xenocrypt, bumiputera, Ed Tracey, Odysseus

        He is a young, energetic, likable guy that campaigns incessantly. Also it helps that he is not an ideological purist or loudmouth.

        •  With his large margin of victory and (0+ / 0-)

          Yes on 1 narrowly winning his district, would he be a likely vote against gay marriage?

          27, Dem, Dude seeing a dude, CT-04(originally), PA-02/NY-10 (formerly PA-02/NY-12, then PA-02/NY-14). Also at

          by Xenocrypt on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 12:13:17 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Unlikely (0+ / 0-)

            But if there are defections within the Republican caucus in the senate (I doubt this happens, and it would only happen if it is publicly known that it will pass regardless) I could see him being the 3rd or 4th defection. But the odds of this are small.

      •  Miller's family (7+ / 0-)

        Miller's father was also a very popular mayor of Winona, which has 3/8ths of the district's population. His family also owns a operates a very well known company in Winona. And like OGGoldy said, he works hard and isn't an idealogue.

        Our candidate wasn't the strongest either (he also looked a bit like a Hobbit). I had worked a bit with an organization trying to recruit a candidate in that seat, and all of our top prospects passed on running.

        And the district has a history of electing Republicans. We held the seat from 06-10, but it was Republican before that. SE MN is trending our way, but it still has ancestral independent and Republican tendencies.

        •  So he was basically like (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          CF of Aus

          the Paul Rudd character who Leslie Knope runs against on "Parks and Recreation"?

          27, Dem, Dude seeing a dude, CT-04(originally), PA-02/NY-10 (formerly PA-02/NY-12, then PA-02/NY-14). Also at

          by Xenocrypt on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 01:15:30 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  But great job, especially on the precinct maps. (0+ / 0-)

      I don't know how to do that GIS stuff.  Or were you just very patient?

      27, Dem, Dude seeing a dude, CT-04(originally), PA-02/NY-10 (formerly PA-02/NY-12, then PA-02/NY-14). Also at

      by Xenocrypt on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 11:56:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Oh, and hopefully (0+ / 0-)

      I was right when I made them.  Don't really have time to re-check the numbers now.

      27, Dem, Dude seeing a dude, CT-04(originally), PA-02/NY-10 (formerly PA-02/NY-12, then PA-02/NY-14). Also at

      by Xenocrypt on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 11:57:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Nice work (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CF of Aus

      I like the use of bubbles.

      Get the Daily Kos Elections Digest in your inbox every weekday. Sign up here.

      by David Nir on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 02:28:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks. (0+ / 0-)

        The handy thing here is that the Presidential election and the Amendment election are just uncorrelated enough that the bubbles don't overlap much.

        27, Dem, Dude seeing a dude, CT-04(originally), PA-02/NY-10 (formerly PA-02/NY-12, then PA-02/NY-14). Also at

        by Xenocrypt on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 03:28:12 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The two elections really did have (0+ / 0-)

          nothing to do with each other.  Same with amendment 2 when it came to requiring photo ID to vote.  That one failed because the Twin Cities and Greater MN teamed up to curb-stomp the shit out of it, while the marriage amendment was the Twin Cities plus the suburbs.  And the Presidential follows an even less black/white voting pattern in Minnesota.

          Really can't help but wonder what other type of election ballot has the ability to show these differences.  Wonder if maybe it's just Minnesotans being highly educated voters and voting exactly how one would logically expect.

  •  What I've been hearing (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OGGoldy, askew, sfbob, MichaelNY

    From what I know talking with the people I know at the legislature and my friends on Minnesotans United, the votes are there in the Senate, the House is the work in progress but they feel pretty good about it. I had a conversation last week with a House employee who informed me of at least three DFLers in high "Yes on 1" districts that will vote yes (aside from Melin and Metsa who are co-sponsors). Also, the whole Range delegation should be Yes votes (aside from maybe Dill) despite districts voting Yes on 1.

    •  Dill is a firm no (8+ / 0-)

      Trust me on that one. The Range delegation tends to be more liberal than their constituencies, and the constituencies are reflexively Democratic. The only one I could see it ultimately hurting, unfortunately, is Anzelc. But his district is at beat 50/50 Range territory as it is after redistricting. The Cass precincts are absolutely brutal.

       Also, I know you know this, but others might not and it is important in this discussion. Metsa and Melin are both in their 20s. This is the age group most likely to support it nationally. Given the political leanings of their districts they will be fine, especially Melin. Although they will certainly tale some flak back home, it won't be enough to put them in danger. Since Bakk has come out in favor of it, it provided cover for all the rest of them. The unquestioned backroom leader of the Iron Range DFL Tom Rukavina "allegedly" having a group powwow with then may have swayed the minds of a couple wary Range legislators.

      I never doubted hat bloc would come on board. Its the farmland Democrats that won't come over. My connections are much weaker in that part of the state, so other than the obvious never-gonna-happen ones, I have little insight. I trust that you know what you're talking about if you're doing a whip count on the senate. I personally have a ceiling of 34 possible Yes senators, and I can't imagine any of my No senators column is squishy on it. Unless someone got to the ear of somrone like Senjem and he was able to corral a couple surprising Republican votes, this is a razor's edge under the best of circumstances.

      •  Not from what I've heard (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ER Doc, Christopher Walker

        I thought Dill was a firm no until a conversation I had last week. I personally think he is a no, but I was told he is a very possible yes. Anzelc is the one it would hurt, but I'm pretty confident that he's a yes vote from what I've heard. Oh, and I did hear that Tomassoni is up in the air, forgot about that one.

        I'd be interested in which farmlanders you see as nos. Stumpf and Koenen for sure. Skoe and Eken and questionable. Possibly Sparks (though his district is democratic enough to handle it). I believe that Schmit and Dahle will both vote yes, even though they are vulnerable. Jensen is a yes. Right after the election when MN United had the rally at the capitol, she was there for it.

      •  District 3A (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ER Doc

        Looking at the tally on this, the only strong "no" area on the amendment (after counting blank ballots as votes against the amendment) was in Cook County, and the "no" percentage in Cook County was stronger than the state as a whole.

        The portions of St. Louis and Koochiching counties in 3A both voted "yes" on the amendment; the part of St. Louis County in this district is the far northern portion including Ely but excluding the Range cities such as Hibbing and Virginia.

        The 3B portion of Lake County (around Two Harbors) voted "no" in rough proportion to the state as a whole.

        The ballot box must NEVER be used as a tool of oppression.

        by vikingrob on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 04:09:38 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Come on Illinois! (5+ / 0-)

    You can't keep dragging your feet. Don't let Minnesota beat you.

    On a serious note, I hope President Obama is calling IL State House members and to lobby them to support the bill. This is the perfect place for him to do it.

  •  Local newspaper released a mason-dixon poll (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    that showed way less than half the population supported gay marriage.  I'm guessing it's around a coin flip.  I hope the legislature chooses to be on the side of history and pass the bill.

    •  The problem (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      is that many, even conservatives, voted against the ballot measure because they didn't want to put this measure in the constitution. They were still against gay marriage but didn't want the religious right meddling with it.

      Some people have short memories

      by lenzy1000 on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 04:24:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I used to believe your thinking was correct (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        But I really don't think people care as much about writing something into the constitution in comparison to simply writing it into law.  The election truly can be dumbed down to an urban vs rural battle and we have more urban living people in Minnesota than rural folks.  Urban people like gay people, rural people just don't know them.

    •  Mason Dixon is very GOP leaning (0+ / 0-)

      They're as bad as Rasmussen if not worse.

      20, CA-18 (home), CA-13 (school)
      Socially libertarian, moderate on foreign policy, immigration, and crime, liberal on everything else.
      UC Berkeley; I think I'm in the conservative half of this city. -.4.12, -4.92

      by jncca on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 06:26:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Awesome work... Love the maps, very informative.NT (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Midwest Meg

    Town Planner, 30 years Old, Election Junkie, "If you agree with Bush's economic policy, Cheney's foreign policy, and Santorum's social policy, you loved Romney's speech" - James Carville (aka the Ragin Cajun) on the Colbert Report

    by CF of Aus on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 03:39:55 PM PDT

  •  Today! Anti gay bigot brings gay friend to Session (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dr Colossus, ER Doc

    This happened today on the House floor

    Diary Here

  •  Opposition to Amendment not same as support (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Odysseus, MichaelNY

    I am a Minnesota resident.  I strongly opposed both of the amendments proposed by the Republicans.  Neither of those reactionary ideas - voter ID or some asinine statement  regarding one man/one woman - had any place in our state Constitution.  That being said I'm not actually so much "for" gay marriage  as opposed to those who are against it.

    •  I get your point (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Odysseus, MichaelNY

      but let's say we never had the amendment, then what would people use as an excuse for being against same-sex marriage?  Over-all point is, the DFL is finally in total control of our state government so a discussion on legalizing same-sex marriage should be expected at this point of the gay rights battle.  And every single state that has had the Democratic trifecta of governance in the last decade has discussed how far they can go in pushing marriage equality, as well.

  •  Hype the trend (0+ / 0-)

    The key I think is to point out that they can get ahead of the curve

  •  Civil Unions? (0+ / 0-)

    OK, this will get me stoned in here, but as a gay male from Minnesota (until age 23), please hear me out.

    I still wonder if Minnesota is biting off more than it can chew this year.  I now live in Washington State, and we moved year-by-year over 4 years from limited domestic partnerships, to more robust DP's, to everything-but-marriage, to marriage.  Minnesota wouldn't have to go that slow, but I think there's some value in a 2-stage process.

    If civil unions would pass, you'd get a lot more "easy" votes.  It would allow members to "test" the votes with their constituents and see they have nothing to fear.  1 or 2 years later, they can extend it fully to marriage.  Because by then, the sky will not have fallen, and the votes would be a lot easier.

    Secondly, and more importantly, imagine what would/could happen at the Supreme Court if they subscribe to Obama's "8 state" solution!  Any state with civil unions would be required to change that to marriage!  Abracadabra!  Suddenly an "easier" vote on civil unions would result in marriage equality.

    Last thought: I want change and I want change now.  So if this marriage bill fails (which I hope it won't), I hope they'd consider going back and getting something, instead of nothing.  

  •  Two Historical Notes on the Marriage Amendment (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MichaelNY, terrypinder

    #1 – It’s relatively easy to pass a constitutional amendment in MN. It takes only a majority of both houses in the legislature and a majority of voters voting yes (if you don’t vote on it, it counts as a “no”). There doesn’t need to be any kind of supermajority such as two-thirds – just simple majorities of the legislature and the voters. Because it’s so easy, the state constitution has been amended 120 times (over about 150 years).

    The 2012 Marriage Amendment was an end run around the governor. The governor doesn’t have the power to sign or veto an amendment. If the Republicans had passed a regular law, Governor Dayton (a Democrat) certainly would have vetoed it. By making it an amendment, they prevented the governor from doing anything.

    #2 – There were some stories, (including this one from WCCO), that the Republicans were worried that Amy Klobuchar would win re-election to the Senate, so they wanted something to fire up conservatives and evangelicals. So the one-man-one-woman amendment was a get-out-the-vote tactic.

    Hahahaha! It backfired. The amendment failed. Klobuchar was re-elected. And both state house and state senate turned from red to blue.

    "Stupid just can't keep its mouth shut." -- SweetAuntFanny's grandmother.

    by Dbug on Mon Mar 11, 2013 at 07:04:12 PM PDT

  •  Nice work Jeff! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    If anyone is interested, back in December I went through who each of these Senators and Representatives are:



  •  I can't wait to hear Michele Bachmann's reaction (0+ / 0-)

    should this pass.  Reminds me of the account of Richard Russell leading the civil rights in the US senate in the 60's, only to discover his home state of Georgia had outlawed the poll tax.

  •  wow! what a great article (0+ / 0-)

    clearly it's very fertile soil without anyone politicking.  we could lose 5 democratic votes at both levels and it would still pass.  and a republican state senator has already announced he is voting for marriage equality - so we could lose 6 democratic senators - and i don't think we would.

    and there will be politicking.  NOM is lining up on one side.  we haven't even seen who is lining up on the other side, but don't expect silence.

    i think the Governor and businesses that support marriage equality will be powerful - as well as the same organizations that defeated the amendment last year.

    and as everywhere else in the country - the population becomes less homophobic (though not necessarily the electorate) every cycle so the reps and senators have less to fear each year.

  •  Minnesota Senate Judiciary Committee (0+ / 0-)

    votes to advance gay marriage 5-3. this is also the partisan breakdown of the committee so I assume it was a party-line vote. no surprises so far right?

    Living in Kyoto-06 (Japan), voting in RI-01, went to college in IL-01.

    by sapelcovits on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 04:11:52 PM PDT

  •  Arc of history bends more (0+ / 0-)

    Great news, I think. Good luck.

    If NH and Maine can pass this, and Maine defend it at the ballot box, then places like MN certainly can.

    In NH especially there was a conservative libertarian argument that it wasn't the government's damn business if gays wanted to marry. That sold many GOP legislators, in a GOP controlled legislature.

    Just something to think about.

    Bottom line: this issue is moving so fast in our favor that, outside the Cnonfederacy, this is inevitable in the very near future everywhere.

    Good luck.

    Peace on Earth was all it said.

    by BobBlueMass on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 10:18:13 AM PDT

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